Fifteen-year-old Pearl DeWitt and her mother live in Fallbrook, California, where it's sunny 340 days of the year, and where her uncle owns a grove of 900 avocado trees. Uncle Hoyt hires migrant workers regularly, but Pearl doesn't pay much attention to them... until Amiel. From the moment she sees him, Pearl is drawn to this boy who keeps to himself, fears being caught by la migra, and is mysteriously unable to talk. And after coming across Amiel's makeshift hut near Agua Prieta Creek, Pearl falls into a precarious friendship - and a forbidden romance.
Then the wildfires strike. Fallbrook - the town of marigolds and palms, blood oranges and sweet limes - is threatened by the Agua Prieta fire, and a mandatory evacuation order is issued. But Pearl knows that Amiel is in the direct path of the fire, with no one to warn him, no way to get out. Slipping away from safety and her family, Pearl moves toward the dark creek, where the smoke has become air, the air smoke.
Laura McNeal has crafted a beautiful and haunting novel full of peril, desperation, and love.
Dark Water's short chapters well serve the novel's multiple storylines. ... Pearl's life is compartmentalized. The novel's short chapters parallel that disjointedness beautifully and make the disparate plot points easy to follow.
In the end, Dark Water really is like Pearl. It is full of heart, and it is full of brains too. Because of this, it touches the reader's heart and asks the reader to think, too. It is complicated, doesn't offer easy answers, and its vital, true-life issues beg to be discussed. (Reviewed by Tamara Smith).
The Washington Post
Although Amiel sometimes seems less a fully realized character than a projection of Pearl's loneliness and need, the particular strength of this haunting story is Pearl's motivation to tell it. She seeks not to excuse but to understand and take responsibility for her actions.
School Library Journal
Drawn in by the appeal of clandestine love and looming disaster, teens will also be rewarded with much thought-provoking substance in this novel's complex characters and hauntingly ambiguous ending.
Starred Review. Notable for well-drawn characters, an engaging plot and, especially, hauntingly beautiful language, this is an outstanding book. Ages 12+.
Pearl has one brown eye and one blue eye. Amiel says to her that this means "tu eres de dos mundos. You are of two worlds." Pearl's uncle says it means that she can see fairies and peaceful ghosts.
But what is it exactly?
Heterochromia simply means a difference in coloration and is caused by a relative excess or lack of melanin. The term is sometimes used to describe distinct differences in hair or skin color, but most commonly refers to the coloration of the iris.
Complete heterochromia is when the iris is a different color entirely. Partial heterochromia is, as it sounds, when only a part of the eye is different. Heterochromia is most often an inherited condition, but it can also be the result of mosaicism (two populations of cells with different genotypes) or the result of an injury or disease. Like both Pearl's uncle and Amiel, some people and...
Told in alternating voices and filled with music, friendship, and romance, A Little Wanting Song is about the kind of longing that begins as a heavy ache but ultimately makes us feel hopeful and wonderfully alive.
When two boys come to spend the summer at Bird Lake, each is reeling from his own personal tragedy. Both boys arrive scarred and fragile, but as they become friends, the sharp edges of their lives smooth out and, slowly, they are able to start to heal.
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